The PET and LIM domain-containing protein, Prickle, plays a key role in planar cell polarity (PCP) in Drosophila. It has been reported that mutations in the PRICKLE2 gene, which encodes one of the human orthologues of Prickle, are associated with human diseases such as epilepsy and autism spectrum disorder. To develop preventive and therapeutic strategies for these intractable diseases, we studied the regulation of Prickle2 protein levels in transfected HEK293T cells. Prickle2 levels were negatively regulated by a physical interaction with another PCP protein, Van Gogh-like 2 (Vangl2). The Vangl2-mediated reduction in Prickle2 levels was, at least in part, relieved by proteasome inhibitors or by functional inhibition of the Cullin-1 E3 ubiquitin ligase. Furthermore, the expression of Vangl2 enhanced the polyubiquitination of Prickle2. This ubiquitination was partially blocked by co-expression of a ubiquitin mutant, which cannot be polymerised through their Lys48 residue to induce target proteins toward proteasomal degradation. Together, these results suggest that Prickle2 is polyubiquitinated by the Vangl2 interaction in a Cullin-1-dependent manner to limit its expression levels. This regulation may play a role in the local and temporal fine-tuning of Prickle protein levels during PCP signal-dependent cellular behaviours.
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